Robe At Vaynol Festival

LD Martyn Rourke used 20 of each of Robe's ColorSpot and ColorWash 1200 AT fixtures for lighting the Vaynol (Faenol) Festival in North Wales this month. HSL supplied full lighting production and crew.

Set against a dramatic, mountainous Snowdonia backdrop, the four day music extravaganza featured headlining appearances by some serious Celtic talent including Westlife, Shirley Bassey, bass baritone Bryn Terfel, The Proclaimers, and Welsh rockers Anweledig.

Rourke has lit the event since its inception seven years ago, but this was the first year he has brought in HSL as the lighting contractor. It’s also the first year he used Robe, now his moving light of choice.

The most important element of the lighting brief was to design and deliver a rig capable of the specific demands of lighting for TV while also making sure that the 15,000 live audience had a full light-show each night. Obviously the rig also had to be flexible enough to deal with lighting the diverse range of talent and differing musical styles of those taking the stage

The stage was a two-bay 18 metre Serious Structures' Orbit. The trussing was designed to maximise the available headroom and take advantage of the roof shape, squeezing as much space out of it as possible. Lights were rigged onto a box truss in the centre, suspended on 6 points, and two upstage/downstage running side trusses which were gently raked.

For the opera and Shirley Bassey evenings, Rourke also used 8 Robe ColorWash 575 Zoom ATs to uplight the cyc at the rear of the stage. In addition, he utilized a full generic rig, controlling everything including a Catalyst media server off a WholeHog II console and wing.

He used the Robes for a full range of effects, for cyc and gobo washes, for various twinkling effects, strobing, and for dramatic big beam "rocktastic" effects. The initial entertainment each day started in daylight, but the 1200s also had no difficulties registering on camera when this was the case.

With unsettled weather rumbling around the whole weekend, the skies finally opened big time during Shirley Bassey's Sunday night set, drenching everything. However, the rain continued through the night and by the early morning, much of the lighting kit was also wet where the high winds had blowing sheets of water into the stage and rig.

The next day, after allowing a bit of time for drying off, crew chief James Gould turned on the rig to assess the situation and was greeted by every Robe fixture firing up first time and continuing to wok as if nothing had happened. "From a rental company standpoint, you really can't ask for more than that in a fixture," says HSL's Mike Oates.

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